Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Boyd Theater

Saved by evil corporation Clear Channel, and what's more, without the strong arm tactics of "historical preservation".

Think back to that day in April 2002 when the Philadelphia Historical Commission declined to give the city's sole surviving movie palace historic protection


The Boyd vote freed its owner, developer Ken Goldenberg, to seek a demolition permit for the theater, which was still in operation as the Sameric.


Goldenberg is an experienced developer, albeit of suburban-style shopping centers. Like most developers, he wants to be seen as a good guy, the hero who rides into town and builds us something dazzling. He knew he couldn't demolish the Boyd without being perceived as a bad guy.


Clear Channel initially sought massive city tax breaks for its $34 million Boyd project, but was rejected. In the end, federal tax credits were enough.

Free people making decisions voluntarily based on profit and public relations motives creates an atmosphere hospitable to the preservation of a civic treasure without the coersion of government involvement. It's a beautiful thing when the free market works!!!


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